The 42nd AIPA General Assembly was hosted by the Legislative Council of Brunei Darussalam from 23 to 25 August 2021. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the General Assembly was once again held virtually. The Host Parliament chose “Forging Parliamentary Cooperation in Digital Inclusion towards ASEAN Community 2025” as the official theme of the 42nd AIPA General Assembly. Speakers/Presidents of 9 AIPA Member Parliaments, Heads of 10 Observer Parliaments, Secretaries General of ASEAN and IPU, President of APPF, AIPA partners and guests of the host parliament attended the event.
H.E. Pehin Dato Abdul Rahman Taib, President of AIPA, Speaker of the Legislative Council of Brunei, extended his warm welcome to all delegates during the Opening Ceremony of the 42nd AIPA General Assembly (42nd AIPA GA). Also, virtually present at the Opening Ceremony was His Majesty Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah to deliver the royal speech.
At the first plenary session, statements of Heads of AIPA member parliaments and observer parliaments showed support to the overall theme of the Conference and emphasized that to facilitate the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2025, the implementation of the ASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025 (ADM2025) would help ASEAN’s recovery from COVID-19, connect businesses and facilitate cross-border trade and build a digitally inclusive society, among other goals, making the group a leading digital community and economic bloc powered by secure and transformative digital services, technologies and ecosystem.
AIPA Member Parliaments are aware of their role as representatives of the ASEAN peoples to support the ASEAN governments’ efforts in the implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the 2030 Agenda of SDGs. This role includes, among others, ensuring the availability of proper legislations and policies; reinforcing parliamentary diplomacy to support and enhance cooperation with ASEAN at all levels. 28 Draft Resolutions were tabled for discussion and deliberation, and 25 were adopted.
The Committee of Women Parliamentarians of AIPA (WAIPA) considered and approved one Resolution for adoption by the General Assembly onpromoting women’s economic empowerment in the future of work and post pandemic recovery through digital and financial inclusion.
The Committee on Political Matters discussed issues such as cybersecurity, data protection, human security and parliamentary diplomacy to move the ASEAN Community forward. The issue of Myanmar was also discussed, following the proposal from Indonesia which called to bring peace, stability and democracy back to the country. The AIPA Member Parliaments expressed their deep concerns over the situation in Myanmar and called for the complete and immediate implementation of the Five-Point Consensus of the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting and welcomed the appointment of the Special Envoy of the ASEAN Chair to facilitate constructive and inclusive dialogue among all parties concerned. However, as consensus was not reached, the Draft Resolution was not further discussed and was not adopted.
The Committee on Economic Matters discussed issues such as digital ASEAN to empower MSMEs, ASEAN economic integration, post-covid 19 economic recovery, and tourism cooperation in ASEAN.
The Committee on Social Matters considered and adopted the Resolution on the Adoption of the 4th AIPACODD Report and other issues namely cooperation and enhancing digital inclusion to mitigate the impacts of climate change, localizing the sustainable development goals for effective national implementation.
The Committee on Organizational Matters discussed and approved notable issues including financial reports, use of Special funds for the payment of cost-sharing of the new premises of AIPA Secretariat and adjustment in the salary of the locally recruited staff, accrediting the Parliament of Ukraine and the Parliament of Pakistan as Observers of AIPA, Amendment to the AIPA Statutes, Guiding Rules and Procedures for the Hosting of the AIPA General Assembly, Guidelines and Procedures of the AIPA-ASEAN Hearing, Rules and Procedures of the Meeting of the Young Parliamentarians of AIPA, Establishment of the AIPA-EP Dialogue, AIPA Distinguished Service Awards to MPs from Cambodia and Indonesia.
The 42nd AIPA General Assembly adopted the Resolution on Date and Venue of the 43rd AIPA General Assembly to be held in the Kingdom of Cambodia on 12-16September 2022.